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Mets Hot Stove: Sandy Alderson's First Project Should Be Ridding Bad Contracts

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Mets Hot Stove: Sandy Alderson's First Project Should Be Ridding Bad Contracts
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The New York Mets have finally taken the right steps towards building a respectable front office. They've brought in Sandy Alderson to be general manager, J.P. Ricciardi to be a special assistant and Paul DePodesta to be vice president of player development and scouting.

That's all fine but those guys don't play and even when the new manager is signed, the team is still the same on the field. Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez to name a few, are still on the roster.

Perhaps Beltran is healthy and can play out his final season but it shouldn't be a given. In a walk year, Beltran is motivated to earn a final big contract from another team. If the Mets feel he's healthy enough to play 145 games in 2011, then there should be other teams interested in trading for him.

Right now, the Mets outfield consists of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan. Bay still has to prove he can play in New York and Pagan may be better suited to play center field daily.

Plus, Beltran just brings a bad feel to this team. There's always something about him and it may be time to part ways one year early.

It's either that or change up the core, but Jose Reyes has already had his option picked up and David Wright was phoned and told he's staying.

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If the current three of Reyes, Wright and Beltran all remain Mets, it would be the seventh season of that trio, and still only one playoff appearance. Eventually those kinds of groups have to be split up. It's not as if they've done what the Yankees' "core four" have done.

Looking at the other players who should be cut or traded just because it's the right thing to do, three guys come to mind.

Of course, right in the center of that conversation is Oliver Perez. There's no point in giving an explanation as long as you are a true Mets follower, and he must be cut.

Just like Beltran, he has one year remaining ($12 million) but he can't be traded. It wouldn't hurt for the Mets to eat the money because they've said they're not signing any big free agents anyway.

Another guy that must go is Luis Castillo. He can't do anything anymore. The only thing he's good for is slap hits to the opposite field. He has no power whatsoever, can't steal anymore with bad knees and carries around a bad attitude on the field. He always shows bad body language after making an error or doing something wrong at the plate.

He can be traded because there are teams, notably the Cubs, who have shown interest in him. The Cubs you'd figure are going to rebuild next season. Lou Piniella is no longer the manager, the team has had bad seasons, and they traded some players away last season. Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot and Ted Lilly are gone, and perhaps they'd make a trade for Castillo.

Another team could be the Mariners if they swap bad contracts. Chone Figgins could come the Mets way if possible and produce in a change of scenery situation. The bottom line is, there are options for getting rid of Castillo.

The final player the Mets should trade away, although they've said he's returning, is Francisco Rodriguez. He's only going to be 29 years old by the start of the season and he obviously can still close games, but there are two reasons why he should leave.

First of all, who knows where his head is at with the problems with his girlfriend. The second thing is, why bring back any negativity from the disaster that was the 2010 season?

The problem with letting him go is that the Mets didn't re-sign Hisanori Takahashi and by not going after big free agents, they wouldn't have a closer in 2011. There aren't any available ones on the market anyway and Bobby Parnell won't cut it.

The point is, this current Mets 25-man roster can't stay the same. Year after year, the Mets have kept the same players and have gotten nowhere and with a new front office, things must change. If a couple of the aforementioned players aren't let go, the Mets will have another irrelevant season.

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